Review of Noah’s Ark, a Medieval Mystery Play


mysteryplay002-e1396544047500Russell Crowe’s new film, Noah, may be a hit at the box office, but it is just the latest in a long heritage of dramatic performances of the biblical story. Gasper Jakovac, who is working on the Records of Early English Drama North-East project, reviews Noah’s Ark, a revival of a late-medieval mystery play produced at Newcastle University.

On Friday 28th March the only surviving mystery play of the Newcastle Corpus Christi cycle, Noah’s Ark, was performed by Newcastle University students and staff in the great hall of the Newcastle’s twelfth century Castle Keep. This late-medieval biblical play – probably originally and performed each year by the Newcastle Shipwrights’ guild at the Feast of Corpus Christi – has survived in a corrupt 18th-century transcript published by the antiquarian Henry Bourne in his History of Newcastle upon Tyne; or, the Ancient and Present State of that Town (1736).

The rest of Gasper’s review can be read at the Records of Early English Drama North-East blog.

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